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Leverkusen beat Bayern Munich to improve push for place in Uefa Champions League

Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno celebrates after his side became only the third team to beat Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season
Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno celebrates after his side became only the third team to beat Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

With the Bundesliga title secured last weekend, Bayern Munich's concentration is focused on next week's Uefa Champions League semi-final against Barcelona. Bayer Leverkusen took full advantage.

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A third defeat of the season for Bayern Munich seemed as predictable as their march to the German title.

The Bavarians secured that bauble for the 25th time in their history on 26 April when Wolfsburg lost at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Bayern's 2-0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen, therefore, seemed only natural especially as the team is preparing for the first leg of their semi-final against Barcelona.

A loss in that game on Wednesday night in Spain would be much more harmful.

Leverkusen's win, courtesy of second-half goals from Hakan Calhanoglu and Julian Brandt, moves them up to third ahead of Moenchengladbach who will retake that spot should they overcome Hertha Berlin on Sunday night.

With three games remaining, the intrigue in Germany is who will occupy the two slots for automatic qualification for next season's Uefa Champions League.

Wolfsburg - surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw at home to Hannover on Saturday - are second on 62 points after 31 games.

Leverkusen, who have played the same number of matches, are third on 58 points.

If Moenchengladbach win on Sunday night in Berlin, they'll put Wolfsburg under pressure for the runners-up spot.

At the other end of the pile, there's all to play for. Stuttgart and Hamburg occupy the automatic relegation places while Hannover are in the berth for a relegation/promotion play-off from a team from division 2.

Back up in the top flight, teams from 10th placed Mainz downwards could get embroiled in the relegation fight. Only Mainz and Freiburg - currently in 15th - will play Bayern in the remaining three games. An easy three points then.

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